Ewing's sarcoma and primitive neuroectodermal family of tumors
Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive
Ewing's sarcoma (ES) initially was believed to be of perivascular endothelial origin. The Ewing's sarcoma family of tumors (EFT) includes ES of bone (ESB), extraosseous ES (EES), peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor of bone (pPNET), and malignant small-cell tumor of the thoracopulmonary region, or Askin's tumor, all of which are now known to be neoplasms of neuroectodermal origin. The degree of neuronal differentiation has been used for histopathologic subclassification of the EFT as classical ES (ESB or EES), which is characterized by minimal evidence of neural differentiation, and pPNET, which displays evidence of neural differentiation by standard microscopy, electron microscopy, or immunohistochemistry. Because the behavior, prognosis, and treatment appear to be similar for all subsets of EFT, this histopathologic subclassification may not be clinically significant, though some debate remains whether neural differentiation predicts for inferior outcome.